HIV medications reduce the amount of virus in the body and help reverse the harmful effects of HIV on the immune system. The result? A good chance of near-normal life expectancy with a reduced risk of various health problems. Here’s a snapshot of the many possible whole health benefits of HIV therapy.
- Limits risk of serious brain-related diseases caused by HIV and other infections.
- Helps prevent blindness caused by another virus.
- Protects lungs from life-threatening pneumonia and other illnesses.
- Helps control inflammation linked to blood vessel damage, which reduces risk of heart problems. But watch out. Some HIV drugs can affect levels of artery-clogging cholesterol.
- Protects the kidneys against damaging effects of HIV. Some meds, however, can increase kidney disease risk.
- Slows liver scarring caused by hepatitis C. Plus, some HIV meds double as treatment for hep B.
- Boosts the immune system’s health, which helps ward off various cancers more likely to occur in people living with HIV.
- Nearly eliminates risk of mother-to-child HIV transmission during pregnancy.